Shocking Care of Dementia Patients

Lianne Kolirin of the Daily Express has reported failings at 90% of homes and hospitals.

A damning report today reveals the “staggering” betrayal of dementia sufferers by the NHS.

The review shows that nine out of 10 state run homes and hospitals are failing victims.

Patients revealed they are ignored by staff as they are shunted from pillar to post, with some complaining that vital documents are lost by officials.

The study, by health watchdog the Care Quality Commission shows that the “variation of care” means sufferers are left for hours without food and drink. Campaigners slammed the findings and demanded a crackdown on poor treatment.

Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes said: “The inconsistency of care found here means many people are rightly worried about being admitted to hospital or move into care.” He added: “With a staggering  90 per cent of the care homes and hospital inspected found to have aspects of variable or poor care, this report highlights the plight that many people with dementia face.”

One interviewee who asked not to be named, said: “Nobody asks or listens to what I say. People treat me like I cannot think at all anymore. Feel so disempowered that I feel like nothing.”

Another added: “In hospital, I was moved from one ward to another. My “This Is Me” document was lost and staff did not ask me or my family about my dementia.”

The findings of the Cracks In The Pathway report lends weight to the Daily Express Respect  For The Elderly crusade which is campaigning for older people to be treated with dignity.

The institutions inspected by the CQC were rated across four areas. Experts sought to identify how people’s care needs were assessed. They then looked at how care was planned and delivered, how providers worked together and how the quality of care was monitored.

While inspectors did not rate every institution in the country, they did cover a significant proportion.

Researchers visited 129 care homes and 20 hospitals across England where they spoke to healthcare providers, patients, carers and families.

They looked at care for someone with dementia living in a care home, as they were moved to hospital and then back to the home. It considered the quality of care at stages along the way.

The report says that often staff lacked the knowledge and understanding of dementia which can exacerbate the suffering endured by patients and families. Mr Hughes said: “Carers have told us that their loved ones have gone for hours without food or water in hospital or that they were in pain but no one realised.

“Staff can also find communicating with people with dementia extremely challenging, and wards and a new care home can be disorientating to navigate.”

Perhaps worst of all was the lack of information sharing between providers.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “There can be no excuse, and no hiding place, for poor care. We are focusing on improving the lives of dementia patients and their families as never before.

“That’s why we’ve trained thousands of NHS staff to recognise the signs of dementia and invested in dementia-friendly care homes and hospital wards.”

NHS England will create a team of experts to help GPs diagnose sufferers. At least 820,000 people in Briatain have dementia, by 2050 it could be 1.94 million

“If the quality of care is variable then the rest need to catch up with the best – the quicker the better”

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